Mass kidnappings of Nigerian college students depart mother and father in shock and despair

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Rashidat Hamza is in despair. All however considered one of her six kids are among the many almost 300 college students kidnapped from their faculty in Nigeria’s conflict-battered northwest.

Greater than two days after her kids — ages 7 to 18 — went to highschool in distant Kuriga city solely to be herded away by a band of gunmen, she was nonetheless in shock Saturday.

“We’ve by no means seen this sort of factor the place our kids had been kidnapped from their faculty,” she instructed an Related Press staff that arrived within the Kaduna State city to report on Thursday’s assault. “We don’t know what to do, however we imagine in God.”

The kidnapping in Kuriga was solely considered one of three mass kidnappings in northern Nigeria since late final week, a reminder of the safety disaster plaguing Africa’s most populous nation. A bunch of gunmen kidnapped 15 kids from a faculty in one other northwestern state, Sokoto, earlier than daybreak Saturday, and some days earlier 200 individuals had been kidnapped in northeastern Borno State.

It was in Borno’s Chibok city a decade in the past that college kidnappings in Nigeria burst into the headlines with the 2014 abduction of greater than 200 schoolgirls by Islamic extremists, surprising the world.

No group claimed accountability for any of the latest abductions. However Islamist extremists waging an insurgency within the northeast are suspected of finishing up the kidnapping in Borno. Locals blame the college kidnappings on herders who’re in battle with the settled communities.

Among the many college students kidnapped Thursday had been no less than 100 kids aged 12 or youthful. They had been simply settling into their school rooms on the authorities main and secondary faculty when gunmen “got here in dozens, using on bikes and taking pictures sporadically,” mentioned Nura Ahmad, a trainer.

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